Re: [Gimp-developer] Search Action dialog feature


please read again what I wrote:

let me first of all say this in general about the process we are
doing. at this moment I feel we are still working backwards, i.e.
you are answering to me what the code does.

we have to work forward, else there will be no progress.

this means we write down the goal/purpose/vision that you have
for TITo (sorry, internal code name still rocks for discussions).
you make the choices, I just make sure that what we end up with
1) makes sense in  GIMP context
2) is internally consistent
3) is short, sharp and complete

once we got this goal written down, it is possible to
review the spec to see what is missing and what is getting
in the way of the goal.

now it would be good if we actually start doing that.

On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 12:47 PM, Michael Natterer <mitch gimp org> wrote:
"action" is meant as technical term here. A menu item is a view
on an internal action, and they include:
- all menu items
- all tools
- all menu-invokable dialogs
- some esoteric stuff which we'd probably filter out to avoid confusion

if I read that right it still boils down to that you only want to
search menu items. this needs to be called that way for clarification.

No. As said above, actions are *not* just menu items. There are a wide
list of commands that Mitch listed above.

aha, that was completely not clear.

now if I am wrong, and you do want to be able to search more
like am the ‘actions’ in the dockable dialogs
(example: Brushes dialog->Create a new brush) then you need to
make that clear explicitly.

Well, yes. We made it clear by saying we search all actions. :-)

actions are a means to an end. we are in the process of clarifying
the ‘end’ here, not the means (picking the means comes later).

so now we better get busy.

the word ‘actions’ is now loaded as an internal implementation
detail. to avoid confusion, it cannot be used in a goal definition.

you could take the wide-ranging option and say:

‘search all that users can perform and change in GIMP’


get specific and make a complete list (‘types’, not ‘instances’)
of what you want to be searched by TITo, for instance:

- all menu items
- everything that can be performed in dockable dialogs
- all tool options
- all operations tools can perform on the canvas
- all settings in preferences and co.

it needs to be in language that gets the point across
exactly, without the reader being required to be a
GIMP developer.

it is better now to concentrate on _all_ the reasons you
want this to be useful for GIMP users.

now is the time for you to decide whether ‘when one knows they
exist but can't find anymore’ is the one and only reason TITo
is valuable/useful for GIMP users. if there is more, you have
to clarify that mow.

No it is not the "only" reason. This was more an example, thus an
error on my side to cite here. The real goal is «searching and
running» actions. And this by itself contains all the reasons I think
it is useful for. Now "searching" can imply a lot of sub-reasons.

yes, and we need to get these reasons on the table, because
without them there is no point in introducing the tool (and
certainly not claim a keyboard shortcut).

«I know this action exists (because I used it before, for instance)
and I want to find it again» would indeed be a typical one.

and here is where some QA form my side has to start:

would be «I don't know GIMP by heart, but I know graphics editing, and
there are usually blur effects. So instead of going through endless
menus, I open the search and type "blur" and search through the 3/4
results I get».

(first of all I think all blur examples have to be banned. there
is nothing to search about blur, it is under Filters->blur, end
of story. if it is not clear that it is to be found in the Filters
menu, or as a toolbox tool, then this user needs an introductory
course in GIMP, which can (today) only be delivered by a web browser
or a book.)

anyway, GIMP is a designed to be a tool for masters, or for
users on their path to become a master (beginners, intermediates).
any other use is not considered when designing the UI.

so if someone comes to GIMP (s)he is either a master in another
graphics app, or not. in the latter case (s)he can be considered
and helped, as a beginner or intermediate GIMP user.

from this there are 2 conclusions:

- we really need to talk about how you envision TITo being useful for
 GIMP masters, beginners and intermediates; most of this will
 involve learning to use GIMP;
- that leaves only masters of other programs coming to GIMP to
 consider in this discussion.

since they are masters in another programme the will hate not
being all-powerful in GIMP. so they will want to master GIMP
as fast as they can (think of it as grokking).

- for all the terms that GIMP has in common with other graphics
 programs (blur, dodge, fill, paint) the value of searching
 for them will be nearly zero, they are placed where they belong.
- the terms that GIMP does not have in common with all other
 graphics programs need a synonym list, a mapping between the
 non-GIMP terms in other programs to the GIMP term;
- if the search does not give a match to the non-GIMP term
 this master user entered, this user will be angry within seconds
- a lot of these operations are not one-shot, they either fit in
 a GIMP way of doing things or have their own set of parameters;
 to grok this, invoking it or pointing out where it lives in the
 UI is not enough; it needs a short, sharp manual page;

- to summarise the above, TITo has to be competitive with
 googling "GIMP <user’s search term>"

...or else be ‘useless!’


        founder + principal interaction architect
            man + machine interface works on interaction architecture

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